JABAL PETRA, Jordan – Conflict arose when Redland invaded Blueland, displacing more than 75 personnel in the Jabal Petra area. Then came a threat of possible insurgent attacks and improvised explosive devices.
At least, that is the situation coalition partners with Combined Joint Task Force Spartan were presented with during Exercise Eager Lion 12.
Exercise Eager Lion is an irregular warfare themed exercise including 19 countries and more than 11,000 participants, focused on missions coalition partners might perform in support of contingency operations.
The intent is to strengthen military-to-military relationships and interoperability through a joint, whole-of-government, multinational approach to meet current and future complex national security challenges.
In response, Jordanian armed forces, Lebanese armed forces and the United States military work together to set-up, maintain and run a dislocated civilians camp.
For the JAF, it is the first time they have had to deal with dislocated civilians, but for the U.S. military, it’s an opportunity to step back and teach.
“We are here basically [in] an advisory role,” said Sgt. 1st Class Lynard Gerber, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion. “Everything we do is planned together with the JAF and Lebanese. Our aspects of planning go hand in hand with theirs.”
Col. Muhammad Almawajdeh, JAF’s Crisis Management Center director, said the exercise is very important and provides an opportunity for great training with other nations.
“We are still learning of course, but we are improving,” Almawajdeh said. “This is a very good opportunity for us as soldiers to learn from each other and to share with one another.”
Gerber said aside from the language barrier, working with the Jordanians and Lebanese has been easy.
Each person has a role, Gerber said. The focus is to maintain security around the camp perimeter and make sure no one gets in unless they enter through the main gate and provide proper identification.
“The Lebanese have been very professional,” Almawajdeh said.
The Jordanians work with the camp personnel and mitigate any issues that arise with the dislocated civilians.
“We have no individual missions out here,” Gerber said. “It’s just one big team. We are working with the Marines, the Army, the Lebanese and the Jordanians to accomplish all the aspects of the mission.”
First Lt. James Everett, assistant operations officer, Marine Battalion Landing Team 1-2, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit said the training that led up to the execution of the dislocated civilians camp was great.
“We went from unilateral training to almost immediately going to bilateral training as our partner nations arrived,” Everett said. “Working with the Lebanese, as well as our Jordanian partners, has been an incredible experience. I’ve highly enjoyed it.”
“It’s been a perspective changing experience for myself and I know from talking with a lot of other Marines, it’s been the same for them,” Everett said. “The Jordanians have been great hosts and this exercise has been a great success because of all their efforts.”